THE HANGOVER was not what I expected. I thought this was going to be a way over-the-top laugh-till-it-hurts comedy but it wasn’t. This is a high class film with subtle humor. None of its ridiculous plot points are overlooked or forgotten. This movie fully explores its characters and has them evolve.
THE HANGOVER starts as the basic bachelor party experience in Las Vegas of three best friends and soon to be brother in-law (played by comedian Zach Gilafanakis). As our heroes drink to a toast atop a roof we time lapse over the Vegas Strip and then smash cut to the next morning where it all goes wrong.
Ed Helms’ (Andy from THE OFFICE) character Stu is the first to awaken in a drunken haze to find their suite is completely trashed including a baby in the closet and a tiger in the bathroom. The friends soon realize that the groom to be, Doug (Justin Bartha of NATIONAL TREASURE), is missing from his room and is nowhere to be found. When Phil (Bradley Cooper) finds a bracelet on his wrist from the hospital the night before it acts as their first clue. The groom needs to be found, and the bracelet is the catalyst for the crazy adventure of finding Doug and getting to his wedding on time. Their adventure spans over two days. In this time the events of the night before are revealed. Including such gems such as Stu getting married (even though he was planning on proposing to his abusive girlfriend back home), trouble with the cops resulting in a taser scene funnier than the infamous “Don’t taze me bro” viral video. There is also a surprise and hilarious encounter with Mike Tyson. Included in this package is trouble with gangsters, stealing a cop car and card counting.
The acting is great all around. The cinematography matches the acting head-on. The time-lapse poker scene which this movie boasts is one of the best time-lapse sequences I’ve ever seen.
If you are just looking for big laughs THE HANGOVER is a must see for the end credits which will have you almost pissing your pants. THE HANGOVER is really not going to be what you expect. In the end, this is really a surprisingly sophisticated film.